Saturday, June 21, 2014

Sample Saturday - June 21, 2014

Welcome back to Sample Saturday. In this piece from Gone for a Soldier, the Owen Family Saga novel that will be released later this year, Ella Ruth Allen is worried about the upcoming holiday.

Christmas was coming in a bit over a month, despite the war dragging on and on. Ella Ruth sat down after a long stint helping her Uncle Joseph with a wounded soldier, arching her aching back in an attempt to work the kinks out. If she was going to send a gift to Ben, it would have to be done soon, or he would never receive it in time.

She knew he had survived that awful fight in Pennsylvania last summer. Thank the Good Lord he wasn't in General Pickett's division. Since July she had received a few letters from Ben, and the last note said he was somewhere in Orange County, below the Rapidan.

"Miss Allen," Uncle Joseph called to her. "I need your assistance."

With a sigh, Ella Ruth went back to work in the surgery room. What could she send to Ben?

Her answer came several days later as she read a letter to a young man whose bandages on a head wound made it impossible for him to see. His wife talked about a likeness she had sent to the soldier, and after she read that part, she glanced up to see him fumbling in his pocket to be sure he had the cherished item.

"Ain't she the most comely woman you ever saw?" he asked, moving the likeness where Ella Ruth could see it. She hoped he could not see her widened eyes at the sight of a very homely creature, but she made polite sounds and went back to reading.

Something about the man's devotion to his wife stirred Ella Ruth's heart. No matter what the girl's appearance, the remembrance she had sent was important to him.

Would Ben take such pride in my portrait? she wondered. A soft emotion swelling in her breast told her that he would. That was settled, then. She would take her pearl earrings to the photographer's studio to barter for a likeness of herself for Ben's Christmas gift.


Thank you for visiting! Please come back next Saturday for another sample of my writing.

Bestselling author Marsha Ward wrote the novella, Faith and the Foremen, in the Timeless Romance Anthology Old West Collection. She is the author of an acclaimed novel series featuring the Owen family. Her last published book, Spinster's Folly, won the 2013 USA Best Book Award for Western Fiction, and recently was named Finalist in Western Fiction in the 2014 International Book Awards. A former journalist, Ward has published over 900 articles, columns, poems and short stories. She is the founder of American Night Writers Association, a.k.a. ANWA.

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